Knowledge and Practice of First Year Medical Students about Smoking

Introduction: Myanmar is one of South East Asian countries and tobacco consumption and exposure to environmental smoking in Myanmar youth is high from the report of Global Youth Tobacco Survey. Tobacco control experts and Global Health Professional Survey on youth reports have emphasized the importance of training medical students about tobacco smoking. This study examined cigarette smoking among a sample of newly intake medical students of famous medical university in Myanmar. The knowledge and practice and factors associated with cigarette smoking in students were discussed and issues which need to be implemented to control the smoking among them in the future are presented.

Objective: To find out the knowledge upon tobacco smoking among first year medical students, to determine the smoking practice of first year medical student and To determine the gender difference of smoking among the students

Method: A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional survey was done among first year medical students of the University of Medicine-1, Yangon, during August 2007. Data were collected using a pretested structured self-administered questionnaire. Questionnaire included sections about socio-demographic information, smoking behaviour and knowledge. Current smoker was defined as a person who practiced tobacco smoking at the time of data collection. Ex-smoker was defined as a person who quit smoking more than a year ago.

Result: There were total 400 first year medical students were participated in the survey. Median age of the students was 17 years, 53.3% were males and 45.8% females. Overall prevalence of current smokers and ex-smokers was 5.8% and 3.5% respectively. Median age at initiation ofsmoking was 14.5 years. The difference in rates smokers between male (8.9%) and female (2.1%) students was statistically significant. Most of the students aware of the health hazard of smoking but nearly half the students had poor knowledge about prevention and control of smoking.

Conclusion: Smoking among medical students was less frequent than youth in Myanmar. Medical educators may utilize this positive mindset of future doctors to train them about prevention and control of tobacco smoking.

Author(s): Kye Mon Min Swe , Amit Bhardwaj

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